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Renewed resentment on the Rhine

New plans for a lane exclusively for tram line 705 are stirring the spirits in the state capital of Düsseldorf.

The Rhinelander likes to say with a twinkle in his eye: "If you have learned to drive in Düsseldorf, you can hold your own in road traffic all over the world. One-way streets, two-lane main traffic axes, sharing the asphalt with buses and even trams in some places, all much too narrow and noisy: that's Düsseldorf traffic in a nutshell.

Since autumn 2019, readers have been associating Düsseldorf primarily with the three environmental lanes that have now been installed, but now Lord Mayor Geisel (SPD) is adding to this - and the people of Düsseldorf can no longer escape the amazement and desperate giggles.  

So in the near future there will be a separate lane for tram line 705. The tram runs on one of the main traffic axes of the city centre; residents, commuters and traders on this street react sceptically until they are angry about the plans from the town hall.  

The tenor is similar among all the parties mentioned: where there is already too little space, it will now be even tighter due to the planned tram lane. Besides Mayor Geisel, the culprit for the chaos in rush-hour traffic and beyond is quickly identified: the environmental lane in the south of Düsseldorf. An additional narrowing of the already much too narrow main road, which would be accompanied by the tram lane, would cause even greater traffic congestion - not to mention additional emissions, favoured by constant "stop & go" driving behaviour. 

We will know in a few weeks at the latest what the city planning department had in mind with this idea, and whether the Tram 705 project will be crowned with success.